It was last winter when I first heard Heron’s 1970 self titled debut and the only thing I knew about the record was that it was recorded outside in England near the Thames river. After spending a few days with the album, I began to get the itch to figure out who the dudes were that were responsible for these perfect pastoral folk sing alongs. Who was this band that managed to record an album that sounded like an open field could suddenly play a guitar and sing?
There’s not too much written about Heron and after a few minutes of coming up empty handed, I decided that maybe I didn’t want to know. The record was recorded outside, yes, and you hear all the birds and sunshine that surrounded the band while they effortlessly sang about harlequins and yellow roses. It’s Simon and Garfunkel if instead of being Jews from Queens, they were British guys born and raised in the England countryside. Heron is not so much a lesson in recording or a lesson in songwriting, it’s a lesson in what an album can be. There’s not much on the record other than guitar, piano, and vocals, and it sounds like a well rehearsed day of sitting outside and watching the sun go by. At the end of “Car Crash” a band member laughs as he quietly whispers, “little black things are crawling all over me.”
Heron is strawberry pie and gooseberry puddin. That’s about all you need to know. I swear. words/jeff thrope